It’s been fairly well documented on this site that working for the WWF in the mid 90’s wasn’t the best paying job in the world – it seemed as though almost every WWF “superstar” had a part time job. Bob (Hardcore) Holly drove a race car; Glen Jacobs (aka Kane) was a dentist; and Mike Rotundo was an IRS agent.
Still, all paled in comparison to Tony Anthony. You see, he was a wrestling plumber. Yes, a plumber. A plunger wielding, tank top wearing, butt crack showing plumber.
But he wasn’t just any old wrestling plumber – he was T.L. Hopper, the Evil Wrestling Plumber. Now why, in fact, a plumber would be evil remains, to this day, somewhat of a mystery. He would, however, come to the ring with a snarl, carrying his foreign object of choice, Betsy, his plunger.
Can you just imagine the initial meeting between Anthony and Vinnie Mac?
Vince: “Ok, guy, what we have for you is a surefire success. You’re going to be an evil wrestling plumber! Now give your plunger a name.”
Tony Anthony: “Ummm…Mr. Plunger?”
Vince: “NO! Give it a girl’s name!”
Vince: “NO! You’re plunger’s name is Betsy!”
Vince: “It just is, that’s why!”
So Anthony…oops, I mean TL…would come out to the ring to the sound of toilets flushing and water gurgling. He would pummel his opponents with a variety of nefarious tactics, and then unleash the most heinous post-match antics ever: he would “plunge” his fallen foe.
That’s right, he would stick his plunger on his fallen opponent’s face, and then “plunge” it up and down. The announcers would wail on about how they didn’t know where Betsy had been.
Talk about adding insult to injury!
Hopper quickly became embroiled in a bitter feud with Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, presumably over who had the worst gimmick in the Federation. Here’s Vince and Jerry Lawler calling the action of that epic confrontation.
Anthony, prior to his WWF stint, was actually a well respected jouneyman who plied his trade throughout the southern United States. He had memorable runs in both the USWA and Jim Cornette’s old Smoky Mountain area, going so far as to hold the latter organization’s top championship.
What a shame it is, then, that when the WWF came a calling, they took his nickname of “Dirty White Boy” just a little too seriously.
Vince McMahon: “Here comes, however, the wrestling plumber, TL Hopper. Here’s a look at him in the off season, if you would, TL Hopper in action. And not withstanding his ability to be a plumber, he’s quite an accomplished wrestler, as we see this past weekend.”
Jerry “The King” Lawler: “Yeah, it was a home improvement match, wasn’t it McMahon? You had the plumber against the garbageman!”